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India: Delhi fights to protect current, future subsidies as WTO fisheries talks near conclusion by Amiti Sen September 11,2019   |  Source: The Hindu Business Line

India is continuing its fight to protect the present as well as future subsidies for its small and artisanal fishers in the form of boat, gear, fuel and other input subsidies as World Trade Organisation (WTO) members are meeting in Geneva this week to try and give a final shape to the agreement to prune sops which lead to over-fishing.

The US, however, is adamant about ending special snd differential treatment (S&DT) for developing countries and whatever flexibilities India gets may have to be in the form of carve-outs, an official told Business Line. “India has already pointed out that the existing mandate on fisheries state that there should be appropriate and effective special & differential treatment for developing countries. These should not be replaced or derailed by new proposals with inbuilt flexibilities for all,” the official said.

A decision taken at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires was to try and conclude the negotiations on bringing down fisheries subsides by the end of 2019 or by the next MC which is now scheduled in June 2020.

Fast-track mode

While WTO members are now trying to fast-track the fisheries negotiations so that a conclusion can be reached by the year-end, flexibilities for members, both developed and

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